Becoming a friend of Rachel

ALHS launches Friends of Rachel (F.o.R) club


Photo utilized from @Rachelchalleng on Instagram

Rachel’s Challenge has been introduced to Abraham Lincoln High School this year. Rachel’s Challenge is something Rachel Joy Scott came up with before being killed in the worst mass school shooting in U.S. history at Columbine high school in 1999. This challenge consists of five different elements. The five different elements of this challenge are to eliminate prejudice, dare to dream, choose your influences, use kind words, and start a chain reaction. 

Scott was a 17-year-old girl who went to Columbine High School and was the first person that died during the shooting. Scott wanted to make a difference in the world–a month after Scott died, her parents found an essay she had written for her fifth-hour class. Rachel named her essay “My Ethics; My codes of Life.” Scott wrote, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way and show compassion, then it would start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.” 

While Scott left everyone with her essay, she put an idea of a challenge to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion and her brother Craig Scott left everyone with a challenge too. Craig Scott witnessed his friends getting killed the same day his sister was killed because they were different then everyone else. Craig left with the challenge of getting rid of the hatred anyone has for people that are different from them.

The first part of Rachels’s Challenge has to do with prejudice. Rachel challenged everyone that we should give people three opportunities before we judge them or label them. Rachel thought everyone should be able to give people more than one opportunity because maybe the day you met someone they were having a bad day or maybe they were going through something that we don’t know about. “If we will look for the best in others then we can eliminate prejudice,” Rachel Scott wrote. Speaker Veda Tucker thinks very strongly about eliminating prejudice. 

“You have that power to change that person just by looking at the best of them,” said speaker Veda Tucker.

Rachel Scott had people she admired. Two of those people she looked up to were Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. Because of Anne Frank, Rachel left her family with a journal. Rachel wrote on the front cover of her journal, “I write not for the sake of glory, not for the sake of fame, not for the sake of success, but for the sake of my soul.”  

Dare to dream was the second part of Rachel’s Challenge. Rachel had a dream that she would impact millions of people in the world. She never said she thought she would impact many people but she always said she knew she was going to have an impact on somebody. Rachel wanted everyone to dream big and keep a journal about their dreams. 

“Glory only comes when one procures their dreams. How many of us know what we want to go after? How many of us have enough trust, strength, and faith to believe that we can do the impossible,” Rachel wrote. “I have faith way can’t you, I want to show the world what I have, I won’t be labeled as average. Don’t keep me from my dreams, I can reach them if I believe.” 

An influence is a person or thing that affects the way you think about yourself and others around you. Rachel had people she had people looked up to, admired, and people she wanted to be like. 

According to Tucker, everyone at AL is at the age where we don’t get to choose many things in our lives. One of the few things we can choose is our influences. Everyone has the option to choose who or what gets to influence them in their lives, how we determine who influences us depends on the person we are or become. 

Rachel wanted to be kind to those who were different from her, new to the school, who were bullied, and people who got put down. Once Rachel died, her parents got many emails from students around her school about how Rachel had impacted people. This brings us to part 4 of the challenge which is to use kind words. No one ever knows what anyone is going through and using kind words could make someone feel better. 

Rachel’s challenge is a new system at AL, something else they are adding to this year will be a club that goes with it as well. The club name is called “Friends of Rachel” (F.o.R) and this club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the cafeteria. So far they are in the beginning stages of the club so they haven’t done too much, but hope to impact many people. 

“…It is in the beginning stages right now. We had a soft first meeting on Valentine’s day, and will continue with weekly meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the cafeteria,” said one of the leaders of F.o.R, Melanie Boese. 

F.o.R may be new this year but all three leaders of the club think that this club will last and think that this will have a significant impact on students and the school. 

“I truly hope that this club is successful and can continue for many years to come,” said Sasha Rindone.

While Rachel’s challenge and F.o.R club are new to ALHS, the leaders of the club are hoping that it lasts for many years. They are also hoping that it can become a safe place for people. They mention that even small things can start a chain reaction. 

“I think it will have a huge impact on our school. When one kid is nice it causes a chain reaction. In our conversations yesterday with students, they shared ways they are already making a difference like picking up trash, helping a teacher clean up after class, etc,” said Deb Pettepier.